Talk of the Knicks being overrated hit a major snag last night when New York demolished the Oklahoma City Thunder at MSG. While the term “best win of the season” is often thrown around wildly (sometimes on this very blog), it’s hard to argue that Tuesday night wasn’t the most demonstrative win of the year. Sure, you could argue for blowing out Chicago (ironically, the next opponent – Merry Christmas), but this game was just as lopsided and against a better team.
Here are 5 things about Wednesday night’s win over the Thunder
1. The defense – When was the last time you came away from a Knicks game most impressed with the defense? Has it ever happened with a Mike D’Antoni squad? Maybe not. Oklahoma City, one of the higher scoring teams in the league was shut down by one of the worst defensive teams in the league. The Thunder shot 39% from the field and 18% from behind the arc. The Knicks outscored them 16-5 on fast break points. Some of that is just bad shot selection, but a lot of its defense.
2. Wilson Chandler – Chandler continues to be the 3rd or 4th best player on the team. Wednesday night he had 21 points and was 3 of 4 from behind the arc. Has anyone else noticed how many positions this guy can play – and play well?
3. Amar’e didn’t score 30 – Only the 8thtime the Knicks have won without Stoudemire putting up 30 points. When this happens it shows depth, something that the Knicks aren’t exactly known for among their starters.
4. Raymond Felton played 33 minutes – This is not a bad thing, either. The Knicks most glaring weakness has been lack of depth at the point guard. I have a column in the tank called “Toney Douglas is killing the Knicks.” Don’t worry, it’s coming. So far, it’s been true. Felton cannot continue to be effective playing the kind of time he has been.
For a little perspective, consider this – Felton played 33 minutes last night. The last time he played 33 or less was on November 5thagainst Washington. At that time, he hadn’t totally grasped the offense. In fact, the last time Felton played less than 40 minutes was December 10th against Washington. He’s averaging 41 minutes in the month of December.
Douglas was a little better last night – 22 minutes, 9 points, 0 turnovers. You could live with that, right?
5. Free throw shooting – 85% last night, nine percentage points better than Oklahoma City. The Knicks, at 81%, are the second best free throw shooting team in the league. Whose 1st? Oklahoma City.
Hey, it pays to be lucky sometimes.
For all those (like me) celebrating over the next two days, a very Merry Christmas to you and yours. Make sure all Santa’s gifts get opened by noon. KNICKS/BULLS!
About the Author
Written by Jordan Lauterbach
Jordan Lauterbach began his career in sports media when he was just 15 years old at WKWZ - Syosset. He hosted a sports talk show for nearly four years before moving on to WCWP - Brookville in 2006. Lauterbach currently hosts a sports talk show every Wednesday night from 9pm - midnight (eastern) and a College Football talk show on Saturday mornings from 11am - 12:30 (eastern) (can be heard online at wcwpsports.com and on Long Island on 88.1fm). Follow me on twiiter: jlauterbach1